photo by kikuko Usuyama
Considering if there was a “soul” in a fried chicken sold at a convenience store has been the reason for starting this exploration and artistic production. The meat is derived from a chicken which should have been living equivalent to other animals, but it is treated as a provision consumed as food rather than life. Even the same chicken would be treated very differently dependent on either it is dealt as a bird in the zoo or a meat for food.

So I visited an expert of bird science, Prof. Masaoki Tsudzuki (Hiroshima University), and asked if I could extract genomic DNA from a fried chicken, and if any information is available on the genetic characteristics such as looking, individuality of the bird when she or he was living. Then, I learned the relevant information from the chicken DNA to interpret is limited compared with mammals, since genetic markers and functional genomics have not been well established in chickens. However, he suggested that sex-determination is reliably possible.

One of genetic advantages to have sexual difference is to accelerate genetic diversity in population of species by shuffling genetic information through sexual reproduction. By doing so, it enables species to be more adaptive to different environments and to reduce the risk of extinction. Thus, sex difference can be taken as one of the most significant elements constructing genetic identity of each individual of sexually reproductive organisms.

It was a mysterious blind spot that having not been conscious of much about sex of a chicken meat, though I often care about the producing area and breed of the meat when I buy and eat them. To explore its possible aesthetic implications, we collected many chicken food samples, extract their genomic DNA and determined the sex. The process and results of the experiment are published book sets and made postcards.

Hideo Iwasaki (Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering & Bioscience, TWIns, Waseda University; Director, metaPhorest)
The Iwasaki lab members (Waseda University), especially Siryu Kirie and Daichi Itaki (graduate students)
metaPhorest members
Masaoki Tsudzuki (Professor, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University)
Atsushi Takenouch (Graduate student at the Tsudzuki lab, Hiroshima University)





都築政起(国立大学法人 広島大学大学院 生物圏科学研究科 家畜育種遺伝学研究室教授)
竹之内惇(広島大学 生物圏科学研究科博士課程後期家畜育種遺伝学研究室)
photo by kikuko Usuyama (and me)
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